Movement for the Survival of the Ogoni People, MOSOP, says last week’s performance report of the Hydrocarbon Pollution Remediation Project, HYPREP, on the Ogoni cleanup is full of lies. MOSOP held that the cleanup project has failed because its integrity has been hurt by massive corruption and lack of transparency.
President of MOSOP, Fegalo Nsuke made the remarks yesterday (Saturday) while reacting to claims by HYPREP that it has achieved its mandate in Ogoni by 75 percent.
“HYPREP alone sees and grades itself on the cleanup. We, the people, have not seen the water nor have we seen the cleanup” Nsuke said.
The MOSOP president noted that the Ogoni people understand that the UNEP report itself was skewed to protect Shell and cover its damaging records in Ogoni to shield the company from responsibility.. He however said MOSOP expected HYPREP to protect the Ogoni people by addressing the issues of compensation for livelihood losses and the exclusion of about 75 percent of contaminated sites which were not captured in the UNEP report.
He said the Ogoni people were disappointed in HYPREP and accused the agency of further worsening the health conditions of the Ogoni people through its present moves to launch community borehole water projects from toxic, poisoned and contaminated wells.
“In 2014, HYPREP and UNEP called for a total ban on both surface and underground waters in Ogoni after declaring them unsafe for drinking. Now, HYPREP has not even cleaned the surface pollution not to talk about the underground pollution but they are seeking to drill boreholes from the same contaminated sources after receiving at least $800 million cleanup funds” Nsuke said.
Nsuke further stated that in 2017, the HYPREP Governing Council approved an integrated water project for Ogoni but there are currently no signs of providing healthy, clean water for Ogoni.
He said if HYPREP claims to be committed to providing clean water for the people, the cleanup agency should show its implementation plan for water provision.
“In 2017 when I was publicity secretary of MOSOP, the MOSOP president at the time served on the Governing Council (GC). HYPREP briefed us after its GC approved an Integrated Water Project for Ogoni and we applauded the decision”
“I challenge HYPREP today to produce its plans for the integrated water project if the agency is committed to provide clean water for the people. Let them show us their plan for the water project. They have none”, he said.
What HYPREP is doing in Ogoni is ridiculous and extremely shameful, Nsuke further said.
“If you pay 1 million Ogonis N1 Million each, it will amount to N1 Trillion which is less than $1-2 billion. HYPREP has access to $1billion and is unable to clean surface pollution and provide clean water. That is ridiculous and extremely shameful” the MOSOP president said.
He accused HYPREP of misappropriating the Ogoni cleanup funds stating that the managers of the programme largely diverted funds and awarded contracts to companies in which they had interests.
“It is misappropriation to use money that was meant to mitigate environmental pollution for the provision of scholarships while the lands remain polluted. But that was convenient because it is easy to convert any meeting list into training beneficiaries. ” Nsuke said.
“Besides, HYPREP was asked to remediate Ogoni pollution and not to take the responsibilities of the ministry of education” Nsuke said.
Nsuke called on the government of President Bola Ahmed Tinubu to overhaul the management and operations of HYPREP by ensuring the completion of the financial audit ordered by former president Muhammadu Buhari.
He said the inaction of the government has further worsened the financial recklessness in HYPREP.